After accidentally forming the legendary mecha “Aquarion,” Amata finds himself at a pilot-training academy where the flirty girls love to get a rise out of him, and the boys seem more interested in exploring mysterious holes and big bangs than harnessing their Elemental superpowers. It’s all awkward dates, hijinks, and threesomes until otherworldly beings start abducting powerful female students. As a mysterious megalomaniac plots interplanetary disaster, the fate of the galaxy depends on whether or not the hormone-fueled academy coeds can come together to fight evil. Set 12,000 years after the events of Aquarion, this series from the studio behind Fairy Tail and Macross builds on the mythos of the original while introducing a new group of lovers and fighters all heading toward one epic climax.
Now, romance and mecha have been done plenty of times before, but this show really takes it up a serious notch or two then you are used too. The result is a completely bizarre mecha-epic that is chock full of sexual context. It’s a good median for a mature anime watcher such as myself. There’s one episode where the pilots discover that they can “feel” missiles better if they have more skin exposed. I really love little wacky details like that! I got a bit concerned around the half-way point when things got gloomy, but where other shows get all soppy and unbearable frequently when changes in tone occur, AE managed to maintain a levity to the proceedings, I suppose in part because although a few characters died, there was a consistent sense of hope.
Perhaps the show’s greatest contribution to the entire genre is the robot Aquarion itself. Sure the concept of three ultra-capable jet fighters combining to form a massive butt-whipping mecha is nothing new, the idea that the end result is completely dictated by the personalities of the three pilots involved certainly is. Known here as Elements, the individuals charged with the task of saving all of humanity one wild mechanized fistfight at a time play a far deeper role than simply glorified fighter pilots. Indeed this series makes interesting use of the concept of a person’s aura as, depending on the combination of the three Elements involved in the conjunction, the Aquarion itself can basically take on limitless forms. Sorry Voltron, a single character isn’t delegated the role of “forming the head” here but rather the position is up for grabs among the three Elements chosen to go out and do battle. Depending on which one snags the responsibility, Aquarion unites into a unique mode with special abilities including everything from archery, to the leg dexterity of a pro soccer player, to a punch with near endless reach.
This review only covers a portion of the series and what saves “Aquarion” from the junk heap of derivative Anime is the beautifully rendered backgrounds and character designs. By the second disc of this series, Aquarion perks up and Animae fans may find just enough meat to keep them interested in gobbling up this series. Characters are well defined, even if their back story isn’t all that it possibly could be. Through the series and part one in particular we learn more about the past lives of the characters and their current incarnation. There is a very clear foreshadowing of what is to come in Aquarion. So for those who want to reminisce on many anime at once and even more to experience all the little things that made multiple series great presented in one go this is a must purchase. It was the kind of show that left me smiling a big, dopey sile when all was said and done. Part two coming soon! Recommended.